31st Academy Awards

The 31st Academy Awards ceremony was held on April 6, 1959, to honor the best films of 1958. The show's producer, Jerry Wald, started cutting numbers from the show to make sure it ran on time. He cut too much material and the ceremony ended 20 minutes early, leaving Jerry Lewis to attempt to fill in the time. Eventually, NBC cut to a re-run of a sports show.

The film Gigi won nine Oscars, breaking the previous record of eight (set by Gone with the Wind and tied by From Here to Eternity and On the Waterfront). It would be short-lived, however, as Ben-Hur broke the record with eleven Oscars the following year.

Gigi was the last film until The Last Emperor (1987) to win Best Picture without any acting nominations. It also had the biggest clean sweep at the time, winning all nine of its nominations, a record that would be tied by The Last Emperor. This record was broken in 2003 when The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won all 11 of its nominations.

The ceremony was hosted by an ensemble of actors: Jerry Lewis, Mort Sahl, Tony Randall, Bob Hope, David Niven, and Laurence Olivier. Niven won Best Actor that night, making him the only host in Oscar history to have won an award during the same ceremony.[1]

31st Academy Awards
31st Acad Awards
People lining the street under the marquee of the Pantages Theater at the 31st Academy Awards.
DateApril 6, 1959
SitePantages Theatre, Hollywood, California, USA
Hosted byJerry Lewis, Mort Sahl, Tony Randall, Bob Hope, David Niven, and Laurence Olivier
Produced byJerry Wald
Directed byAlan Handley
Best PictureGigi
Most awardsGigi (9)
Most nominationsThe Defiant Ones and Gigi (9)
TV in the United States


Nominations announced on February 23, 1959. Winners are listed first and highlighted with boldface[2]

Best Motion Picture Best Director
Best Actor Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor Best Supporting Actress
Best Story and Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium
Best Foreign Language Film Best Documentary Feature
Best Documentary Short Subject Best Live Action Short Subject
Best Short Subject – Cartoons Best Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture
Best Scoring of a Musical Picture Best Song
Best Sound Best Art Direction
Best Costume Design Best Cinematography, Black-and-White
Best Cinematography, Color Best Film Editing
Best Special Effects

Academy Honorary Award

  • Maurice Chevalier “for his contributions to the world of entertainment for more than half a century.”

Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award

Presenters and performers



Multiple nominations and awards

These films had multiple nominations:

The following films received multiple awards.

See also


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-02-21. Retrieved 2015-02-20.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "The 31st Academy Awards (1959) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-21.
1959 in animation

Events in 1959 in animation.

Ama Girls

Ama Girls is a 1958 American short documentary film produced by Ben Sharpsteen. It was part of Disney's People & Places series. It won an Oscar at the 31st Academy Awards in 1959 for Documentary Short Subject. It is also known as Japan Harvests the Sea. It depicts the lives of ama divers, Japanese women who dive for pearls.

Arms and the Man (film)

Arms and the Man or Heroes (German: Helden) is a 1958 West German historical comedy film directed by Franz Peter Wirth and based on a play by George Bernard Shaw. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It was also entered into the 1959 Cannes Film Festival.The film's sets were designed by the art director Hermann Warm. It was shot at the Bavaria Studios in Munich.

Cairo Station

Cairo Station (Arabic: باب الحديد‎ Bāb al-Ḥadīd), also called Bab el hadid or The Iron Gate, is a 1958 Egyptian drama film directed by Youssef Chahine. It was entered into the 8th Berlin International Film Festival. The film was selected as the Egyptian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 31st Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.

Gordon E. Sawyer

Gordon E. Sawyer (27 August 1905 – 15 May 1980) was sound director at Samuel Goldwyn Productions. He won 3 Oscars for Best Sound and was nominated a further 13 times.

Grand Canyon (1958 film)

Grand Canyon is a 1958 American short documentary film directed by James Algar and produced by Walt Disney Productions. It was shown as a supplement during Sleeping Beauty's initial run. The short won an Oscar at the 31st Academy Awards in 1959 for Best Short Subject (Live Action). It is also included as a bonus feature on the 1997 laserdisc, 2003 DVD, and 2008 DVD & Blu-ray releases of Sleeping Beauty.According to the opening credits, Grand Canyon is "a pictorial interpretation of Ferde Grofé's Grand Canyon Suite", much as the animated segments in Fantasia are pictorial representations of music, and the film is strongly related to its soundtrack. Grand Canyon is one of Walt Disney's more unconventional and experimental works, as it has musical accompaniment, but no dialogue or narration.

Harold Humbrock

Harold Humbrock (died February 9, 1993) was a sound editor. He was nominated at the 31st Academy Awards in the category of Best Special Effects for the film Torpedo Run. His nomination was shared with A. Arnold Gillespie.

I Want to Live!

I Want to Live! is a 1958 film noir written by Nelson Gidding and Don Mankiewicz, produced by Walter Wanger, and directed by Robert Wise, which tells the true story of a woman, Barbara Graham, an habitual criminal convicted of murder and facing execution. It stars Susan Hayward as Graham, and also features Simon Oakland, Stafford Repp, and Theodore Bikel. The movie was adapted from letters written by Graham and newspaper articles written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ed Montgomery. It presents a somewhat fictionalized version of the case showing a possibility of innocence concerning Graham. Today, the charge would be known as felony murder.

The film earned six Oscar nominations, with Hayward winning a Best Actress Oscar at the 31st Academy Awards.

John Jensen (costume designer)

John Jensen was an American costume designer who was nominated for 2 Academy Awards.

List of submissions to the 31st Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film

The following 10 films, all from different countries, were submitted for the 31st Academy Awards in the category Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The highlighted titles were the five nominated films, which came from France, Italy, Spain, West Germany and Yugoslavia. France won its first-ever contested Foreign Language Oscar for My Uncle (Mon Oncle), a comedy with little dialogue.Egypt and Yugoslavia submitted films to the competition for the first time.

Mario Monicelli

Mario Monicelli (Italian: [ˈmaːrjo moniˈtʃɛlli]; 16 May 1915 – 29 November 2010) was an Italian director and screenwriter and one of the masters of the Commedia all'Italiana (Comedy Italian style). He was nominated six times for an Oscar.

Ralph Jester

Ralph Jester (July 10, 1901 – September 25, 1991) was an American costume designer. He was educated at Yale, where he was an editor of campus humor magazine The Yale Record. He is perhaps best known as one of the costume designers of The Ten Commandments.

The Bolshoi Ballet (film)

The Bolshoi Ballet is a 1957 American musical film directed by Paul Czinner and starring Galina Ulanova, Raisa Struchkova and Nikolai Fadeyechev. The film's composers, Yuri Fayer and Gennady Rozhdestvensky, were nominated for Best Original Score in the 31st Academy Awards (1958).

The Girls Are Willing

The Girls Are Willing (Danish: Guld og grønne skove) is a 1958 Danish film directed by Gabriel Axel. It was chosen as Denmark's official submission to the 31st Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film, but did not manage to receive a nomination. It was also entered into the 8th Berlin International Film Festival. Guld og grønne skove was only Gabriel Axel's third feature film as a director, and from it came out in 1958, it took exactly 30 years before in 1988 he won his Academy Award for Babette's Feast.

The Magician (1958 film)

Ansiktet (Swedish: "The Face") is a 1958 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. The original United Kingdom title was The Face.

The film stars Max von Sydow as a traveling magician named Albert Vogler. Reading reports of a variety of supernatural disturbances at Vogler's prior performances abroad, the leading townspeople request that Vogler's troupe provide them with a performance of their act, before allowing them before public audiences. The scientifically minded disbelievers try to expose them as charlatans, but Vogler has a few tricks up his sleeve.

The film was distantly inspired by G. K. Chesterton's play Magic, which Bergman numbered among his favourites. Bergman staged a theatre production of "Magic" in Swedish at one point. The film was selected as the Swedish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 31st Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.

The Road a Year Long

The Road a Year Long (Italian: La strada lunga un anno, Serbo-Croatian: Cesta duga godinu dana) is a 1958 film directed by Giuseppe De Santis. A Yugoslavian-Italian co-production, it was Yugoslavia's first ever submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and was nominated for the award at the 31st Academy Awards in April 1959. It won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film. For his performance Massimo Girotti was awarded best actor at the San Francisco International Film Festival.

Vengeance (1958 film)

Vengeance (Spanish: La venganza) is a 1958 Spanish drama film directed by Juan Antonio Bardem. It was co-produced with Italy, starring Italian Raf Vallone. Francisco Rabal narrates the film. It was shown at the 1958 Cannes Film Festival but not released in Spain until the following year. The film had serious troubles with Spanish censorship. Bardem even went to prison and it was an international scandal. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

William A. Horning

William Allen Horning (November 9, 1904 – March 2, 1959) was an American two-time Academy Award winner. He was married to Esther Montgomery until his death.

At the 31st Academy Awards ceremony for 1958, Horning received a posthumous Academy Award for Best Art Direction for that year's Best Picture winner, Gigi. The following year, he received two additional posthumous Oscar nominations, one for Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest and another for the 1959 epic film Ben-Hur. At the 32nd Academy Awards ceremony, Horning won the Academy Award for Best Art Direction for Ben-Hur, that year's Best Picture winner. Like producer Sam Zimbalist, Horning was awarded his second Oscar posthumously, as both he and Zimbalist had died while the movie was still being filmed. To date, Horning is the only person ever to win posthumous Academy Awards in consecutive ceremonies.

William H. Ziegler

William H. Ziegler (September 4, 1909 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania – July 2, 1977 in Encino, California) was an American film editor. He edited over 100 films during his long career, most notably The Music Man, My Fair Lady and Strangers on a Train. He also edited several of the Our Gang shorts.

Awards of Merit
Special awards
Former awards

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